Recently, the NCAA published the most recent results of their on-going study of graduation rates for NCAA Division III student-athletes. In the article “DIII graduation rates reflect student athlete success”, the NCAA study shows that graduation rates among student athletes at NCAA Division III schools are higher than their non-student-athlete counterparts.
Most student-athletes will tell you that they are more diligent about their studies, and that their grade point average is higher as well in-season than out-of-season because of the time constraints of competing in their individual sport. Moreover most coaches, athletic administrators and student-athletes would anecdotally say that student-athletes did better than their non-athletic counterparts. This study now provides empirical data to back up this claim.
Why? Here are some thoughts.
First, student-athletes need to be more disciplined. At the college level, even at NCAA Division III, a student-athlete is practicing/competing six days a week, plus travelling to competitions, plus weight training, plus meetings, plus any number of other requirements for the team. This requires good time management skills and discipline. A student-athlete (in-season) has to focus on two things— their studies and their sport.
Second is drive or desire. Most student-athletes have a greater drive or desire to succeed. They want to do well. They want to be successful. They want to be the best at all they do, not just athletics. This pushes them to do well in class and on the field.
Last is the support system. Coaches and athletic administrators monitor the academic progress of their student-athletes to make sure that they are doing well. Institutions set up study environments that are required for student-athletes to attend to make sure that they are successful. Plus, student-athletes have all of their teammates to go to for help if they need it.
The bottom line is this— student-athletes are more successful at graduating at NCAA Division III than their peers. Now there is data available to show that.
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